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Jun 10, 2011 at 02:03pm IST

Posco: Orissa govt sends forces to acquire land

Bhubaneswar: After getting clearance for the Rs 51,000 crore POSCO project by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), the Orissa government has started massive preparation for a crackdown by using armed force on the anti POSCO villagers at the POSCO site to acquire their land.

But, the situation tense on the ground becomes tense as the agitating farmers are preparing themselves for a final and desperate battle to save their land.

Local people at the POSCO site are guarding their village borders 24 hours in shifts against acquisition for the multi-crore POSCO project. Ten-year-old Sanghamitra of Dhinkia village is willing to battle not just the police but the heat, dust and sweat.

"I am feeling very hot and tired. But this is more important. I have to save

my mother land from the POSCO. If police come, I am ready to fight," said Sanghamitra.

Just few hundred meters away from the village border, the police force gets ready for a final crackdown on Dhinkia panchyat. It's the panchayat that has been at the epicentre of the agitation.

"The farmers who are not giving away the government land are encroachers and we will take lawful action against them and if required use force," said Jagatsinghpur Collector NC Jena.

Shanti Das earns as much as Rs 10,000 per month. The compensation she will get from POSCO is mere Rs 2.5 lakh.

"We do not need government's compensation. It will get exhausted in few years. Our livelihood is more important. Let the force come we are ready to die for our land," said Shanti Das, a farmer from Dhinkia village.

Others like 45 year old Abhaya Jena have given away his land and accepted the compensation.

"Now that we have given away our land, we want POSCO to come up soon, so that government fulfills the promises it has made to us by giving us employment and other facilities," said Abhaya Jena, a farmer from Nuagaon village.

As the biggest FDI project in the country now seems to be a reality the big apprehension among the farmers who have lost their land is whether this project will turn their lives to better or worse.

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